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Thread: On my way from Pond to Paradise; finally discovering the TFP way!

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    Mimipell521's Avatar
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    On my way from Pond to Paradise; finally discovering the TFP way!

    Hi friends! I am going to introduce myself and start a thread because my test kit arrives today and I know I'll have plenty of questions!

    My husband and I bought this house last summer with a brand new pool, brilliant blue and completely balanced. It's a 27' round above ground with metal sides, up against a deck, with a sand filter. We didn't have to do much to maintain last year, just shocked once a week and added baking soda to adjust pH only once. We closed the pool for the winter following directions from the pool store and it was nice and clear (except for some debris on the bottom) when the snow/ice cleared away. When we were ready to reopen it this spring, we noticed the liner had detached on one section of the pool. We ignored it for awhile and then my husband decided we could try to fix it without calling the pool place. So we drained the pool. (mistake #1). We quickly realized we couldn't fix it on our own and the pool store was quick to scold us for draining it in the first place (We now know how dumb that was). Desperate to get the water back in the pool, we filled it with pond water from a pond out back of our house (our well would have taken weeks to fill it).

    Needless to say, our pool looked like a swamp. (I reeeeeally wish I had taken a picture, but use your imagination...I'm not kidding when I say "swamp"). We spent almost a month trying to clear it with constant filtering/back washing, brushing, and vacuuming (not to mention the $100+ worth of algicide and clarifier we unknowingly wasted in there). We shocked infrequently and had a few chlorine tabs floating around. Over three weeks this went on, and we got the pond water to go from swamp to clearish green. And there it sat. Green. And never taking any more steps toward blue. We were lost.

    Before calling the pool place for help (which would have been our next step), I started digging around online and discovered that we mostly just needed chlorine. So we went to Walmart and bought up a ton of liquid chlorine and blindly started dumping.....so much, in fact, that my little yellow chlorine OTO test was red when I finally decided to test it (over 24 hours later), indicating to me that the chlorine level was sky-high. Whoops. So there it sat for three days, filtering, and allowing the over-chlorinated pool naturally come down. But you know what?? We woke up a few days ago and the pool was BLUE! ITS FREAKING BLUE!! It's a small miracle I think, but I've never been so happy to see the color blue in my entire life! It just needed chlorine!

    So this is where I am. I have educated myself since then on the importance of numbers (hence the test kit that is arriving today), I have followed a TON of threads (borderline stalker-ish), and have read up on the process of slamming (which I sort of half did unknowingly and without proper testing and numbers). I need to get some test numbers to see where I stand; my chlorine seemed to dissipate quickly considering how high it seemed to be, so I'm pretty sure my CYA is practically non existent. My pool is currently sitting at a chlorine level of dark yellow (greater than 5) and I just shocked it today with some granular shock (2 packets) to keep it there until the test kit comes (I'm currently out of liquid bleach....). I will post numbers as soon as I can! PLEASE PRAY IM NOT TOO LATE AND WE HAVENT SCREWED UP THE NUMBERS TOO BADLY WITH OUR IGNORANCE!!

    I am loving the TFP way of life and I want to master this!! I understand what we've done since now was NOT ideal, and I am completely on board with switching to liquid bleach and following your advice. I love the idea and ease of this whole thing (once it's mastered). Hopefully you all can help me get to where we need to be so I can take CONTROL! Thanks in advance!! I'll post test results later so we have a starting place!
    27' round (18,000 gal) above-ground, vinyl-lined, metal surround, with a deck around half. Hayward "Pro-Series" sand filter. Taylor 2006 test kit.

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: On my way from Pond to Paradise; finally discovering the TFP way!

    Hello and welcome to TFP! We'll be watching for your own test kit results. Have a nice weekend.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
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    JesseSchmidt's Avatar
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    Re: On my way from Pond to Paradise; finally discovering the TFP way!

    Welcome to the forum!

    It sounds like you're ready to take control of your pool! Get some numbers up as soon as you get the kit in and we'll help you figure out what you need. In the meantime, keep reading Pool School and check out Pool Math and start getting an idea of how it works. Just put your volume in at the top, the left column of numbers is your current numbers, the right is your target numbers. You can find targets in the Recommended Levels based on the surface type of your pool and in the Chlorine/Cya Chart.
    26k Gal IG vinyl, Hayward Super 1HP, Hayward Pro Series S244T Sand Filter, TFTestkits TF-100 w/ Speedstir
    Links: TFPC for Beginners / ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry / GETTING STARTED / PoolMath / SLAM / TFTestkits / Chlorine/CYA Chart

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    Mimipell521's Avatar
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    Re: On my way from Pond to Paradise; finally discovering the TFP way!

    Ok, I have numbers!

    FC 5.5
    CC 0.5
    pH 7.0
    TA 80
    CYA between 30 and 40 (which I think I've read counts as 40?)
    CH (I think I need to retry this one....the solution turned purple and not blue?? Either I didn't do it right or my CH is sky high.....)

    According to to my recommended levels and chlorine/CYA chart....I'm looking pretty good except the pH, correct?

    My question is this....I had the pool hyper-chlorinated (according to an OTO test and an absurd amount of chlorine) for about a week, which brought the pool from that green in the picture to this blue. I never did a "real" SLAM because I didn't have my kit to test numbers. With these numbers and my pool a brilliant blue, do I enter maintainence phase and start maintaining my recommended values or should I do a real SLAM from start to finish with an OFCLT? (Side note: remember that a month ago this pool was a swamp....) image.jpg
    27' round (18,000 gal) above-ground, vinyl-lined, metal surround, with a deck around half. Hayward "Pro-Series" sand filter. Taylor 2006 test kit.

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    Re: On my way from Pond to Paradise; finally discovering the TFP way!

    Your numbers look pretty good.

    Yes it would be a good idea to perform the OCLT. The water might be clear but there can be still algae there- better to get to it now if you fail- then let it go thinking things are all good which could then mean a longer SLAM.

    Your CH might be that you didn't keep adding drops through the purple to get to the blue which is the endpoint of the test. You keep adding drops until there is no colour change. There is a a thing called a fading endpoint which is explained below

    From Extended Test Kit Directions:

    The sample may turn purple during the test, or go to blue for a moment and then turn back to red/pink. This is called a "fading endpoint" and is caused by interference from metal ions. If this happens, do the test again, but this time add five drops of R-0012 before adding any R-0010 or R-0011L. Remember to count the initial five drops in the total.
    11 000 gallons, IG, Fibreglass, Monarch Sand Filter, Davey Typhoon C100M 1HP pump, Davey Chloromatic Mc16CTO ESR SWG, Davey Pool Wall Climba Robot, Daisy Solar Cover,
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    Mimipell521's Avatar
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    Re: On my way from Pond to Paradise; finally discovering the TFP way!

    Ok, I'll try CH again and do an overnight OCLT. I'm working night shift tonight, so I'll have to teach my husband how to do the test....

    correct me if I'm wrong, but I raise the FC to slam level to do the test, right? Which with my CYA would be 16?

    Also, if the fading endpoint can be caused by metal ions, should I be testing for metals? We've never had it tested but the previous pool owners did have a bunch of chemicals for decreasing metal in the pool storage box.....should have been a red flag I guess but I never thought anything of it.....

    thanks is for your response!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Oh, and do I need to raise ph BEFORE doing the OLCT? I've read about lowering it before doing a slam because it can cause a temporary raise in pH, so where I'm low, should I leave it for now?
    27' round (18,000 gal) above-ground, vinyl-lined, metal surround, with a deck around half. Hayward "Pro-Series" sand filter. Taylor 2006 test kit.

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    Re: On my way from Pond to Paradise; finally discovering the TFP way!

    Don't bother testing the CH if you don't want to- vinyl pools don't need calcium unless they have an attached heater. The heater needs calcium, but not the vinyl.

    Yes, raise pH to 7.2 to 7.4 after your OCLT... as you swim and splash in the water some the pH tends to rise on its own. Or use a fountain or sump pump to cause aeration bubbles which also will raise your pH (without raising the TA too)

    Yip
    My Amazon Smile for November12K Fiberglass IG, Infinity 4000 automatic cover, SWCG, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward 1.5 Pump, Doheny Discovery Robot, Savi Melody LED pool lights, outdoor speakers and other assorted doo-dads. Sundance Altamar Hot Tub.
    Our pool build--> Our Pool Solved Our Sloping Yard Skippy's Cheap Pool Cooler -->Skippy's New Fountain

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    Re: On my way from Pond to Paradise; finally discovering the TFP way!

    On the OCLT page, it lists a minimum FC of 3 ppm for those who are just doing the OCLT and haven't started the SLAM yet. But in your case, I would at least consider raising the FC to about 10 this evening for the OCLT.

    I wouldn't worry about the metals just yet. If you have a high metal content, your water color will tell us soon enough when FC is increased.

    Leave the pH alone for now until you know if you pass the OCLT.

    Good luck!
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

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    Mimipell521's Avatar
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    Re: On my way from Pond to Paradise; finally discovering the TFP way!

    Awesome, thank you so much! I will raise FC to 10ish and have my husband do an OCLT tonight. I'll be back with numbers in the am ��
    27' round (18,000 gal) above-ground, vinyl-lined, metal surround, with a deck around half. Hayward "Pro-Series" sand filter. Taylor 2006 test kit.

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    Re: On my way from Pond to Paradise; finally discovering the TFP way!

    Quick question: filter on or off during OCLT? I know I need to leave it on for at least 30 mins after adding the chlorine to get my FC up, but then tonight at dark when we start the test, do I shut it off? The directions address chlorine sources but not the filter....Thanks!
    27' round (18,000 gal) above-ground, vinyl-lined, metal surround, with a deck around half. Hayward "Pro-Series" sand filter. Taylor 2006 test kit.

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    Re: On my way from Pond to Paradise; finally discovering the TFP way!

    If you've been fighting a problem, I'd be inclined to leave it running.
    18*36*23 true "L" vinyl IG 29,000 gallons. SWG. TF-100 test kit.
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    Re: On my way from Pond to Paradise; finally discovering the TFP way!

    you need to filter 24/7 until the SLAM is finished, which means CC of .5 or less, crystal clear water and passing the OCLT.

    You're doing good. Keep up the good work and dont slack off!
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

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    Mimipell521's Avatar
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    Re: On my way from Pond to Paradise; finally discovering the TFP way!

    My husband tested and got 12.5 FC and 0.5 CC. I overshot the chlorine (maybe I have an inaccurate total gallon count for the PoolMath?) but I'm not too worried....excited to see where we are in the morning. Fingers crossed....

    (Quote from hubby: "this is some crazy chemist stuff you've got going on here..." Haha. He will be turned soon enough when we end up with the bluest, most sparkly pool he's ever seen )
    27' round (18,000 gal) above-ground, vinyl-lined, metal surround, with a deck around half. Hayward "Pro-Series" sand filter. Taylor 2006 test kit.

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    Mod Squad YippeeSkippy's Avatar
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    Re: On my way from Pond to Paradise; finally discovering the TFP way!

    (Quote from hubby: "this is some crazy chemist stuff you've got going on here..." Haha. He will be turned soon enough when we end up with the bluest, most sparkly pool he's ever seen )

    LOL, you crazy chemistry couple!

    Just remember to test the water before the sun is up!
    My Amazon Smile for November12K Fiberglass IG, Infinity 4000 automatic cover, SWCG, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward 1.5 Pump, Doheny Discovery Robot, Savi Melody LED pool lights, outdoor speakers and other assorted doo-dads. Sundance Altamar Hot Tub.
    Our pool build--> Our Pool Solved Our Sloping Yard Skippy's Cheap Pool Cooler -->Skippy's New Fountain

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    Mimipell521's Avatar
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    Re: On my way from Pond to Paradise; finally discovering the TFP way!

    Unfortunately, I'm stuck at work.... but I made it VERY clear he had to test before the sun hits it....We shall see...

    Out of curiosity, does it have to be before the sun rises at all, or just before it hits the pool? I ask because the sun rises on the other side of the house and doesn't hit the pool for a few hours after sunrise...or am I thinking too much into it and it doesn't really matter that much?
    27' round (18,000 gal) above-ground, vinyl-lined, metal surround, with a deck around half. Hayward "Pro-Series" sand filter. Taylor 2006 test kit.

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    Mimipell521's Avatar
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    Re: On my way from Pond to Paradise; finally discovering the TFP way!

    It's raining. My FC dropped from 12.5 to 10. Can dilution from the rain cause a false result? Where should I keep my FC until the rain stops and I can try the OCLT again? Should I put it up to SLAM levels just in case it isn't a false positive?
    Thanks
    27' round (18,000 gal) above-ground, vinyl-lined, metal surround, with a deck around half. Hayward "Pro-Series" sand filter. Taylor 2006 test kit.

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: On my way from Pond to Paradise; finally discovering the TFP way!

    HI! You have done a awesome job so far! What a difference

    Sun in the morning for OCLT should not be on the pool at all.......the earlier the better BUT I would NEVER set the alarm on the weekend just to test the water not giving up my sleeping in for my pool LOL

    The rain should not have made that much of a difference. I would push the FC up to SLAM level for today if possible and redo the OCLT tonight. Better safe that sorry.

    Have you taken out the light and ladder to really clean around, behind, under them? Have you scrubbed your returns and skimmer fast with a tooth brush? DOES your pool have it's own toothbrush yet LOL? If not, it should.

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Mimipell521's Avatar
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    Re: On my way from Pond to Paradise; finally discovering the TFP way!

    I have scrubbed the return and skimmer and have been vacuuming/brushing daily since the pool was safe enough to enter. I have NOT removed the ladder. I will do that, thanks. No lights to worry about...and I have just dedicated a toothbrush to my pool - I even wrote his name on it I will raise to SLAM level and retest tonight. If still raining, should I keep at SLAM and retest Monday night instead?
    27' round (18,000 gal) above-ground, vinyl-lined, metal surround, with a deck around half. Hayward "Pro-Series" sand filter. Taylor 2006 test kit.

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    JesseSchmidt's Avatar
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    Re: On my way from Pond to Paradise; finally discovering the TFP way!

    Ok, now we(pretty sure I'm not the only one) want to know your pool's name!
    26k Gal IG vinyl, Hayward Super 1HP, Hayward Pro Series S244T Sand Filter, TFTestkits TF-100 w/ Speedstir
    Links: TFPC for Beginners / ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry / GETTING STARTED / PoolMath / SLAM / TFTestkits / Chlorine/CYA Chart

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: On my way from Pond to Paradise; finally discovering the TFP way!

    Your pool is feeling the love for sure! He has his own toothbrush! Thanks Mom! hehe

    You can do a OCLT in the rain BUT if it is a gully washer it might skew the results some. I will let YOU be the judge of it-sprinkles? No problem..........heavy downpour? Might want to wait.

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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